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The American Journal of Semiotics

Volume 18, Issue 1/4, 2002

Clarisse Zimra
Pages 67-86

Can the Empire Really Write Back
Maximin’s Unbounded Narrative

This essay examines the ways in which Daniel Maximin, a Guadeloupean writer, tackles the work of history and memory that constitutes the ethical imperative of postcolonial writers in the African diaspora. From Proust to Joyce, Camus to Blanchot, Maximin “riffs” on the modernist canon to produce a truly hybrid hermeneutics. In three inter-connected works that share characters and circumstances and owe much to Eco’s concept of the “open work”, Maximin crafts one giant unbounded, untelelogical self-referential narrative that shall heal the diasporic obsession with the all too real fractures of colonial history.

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